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Brendan Lee

The Virginia Plan


The Virginia Plan, also known as the Randolph Plan, was written by James Madison. However,
it was presented at the onstit!tional onvention by "dm!nd Randolph on May #$
th
, %&'& hen(e the
name )The Randolph Plan.* The plan proposed that the government be split between three bran(hes+
the legislative, e,e(!tive, and -!di(ial bran(h. The plan also (reated bi(ameral legislat!re, whi(h split
the legislative bran(h into two (hambers. .ne o/ the (hambers (onsisted o/ members who stayed in
term /or three years that were ele(ted by the people. The other (hamber (onsisted o/ older leaders who
were ele(ted by state legislat!res and they remained in term /or seven years. .ne (on/li(t that arose
was that both (hambers !sed a proportional representation based system to divide the seats among
states. This meant that states with a larger pop!lation wo!ld have more representatives in the (hamber,
whi(h (a!sed the smaller states to oppose it.
The New Jersey Plan
The 0ew Jersey Plan was proposed by 1illiam Patterson at the onstit!tional onvention on
J!ne %2
th
, %&'&. 3t was mainly (reated as a response to the Virginia Plan. Be(a!se the Virginia Plan
proposed an ele(tion pro(ess that was based on pop!lation, states with smaller pop!lations were
weaker and they generally opposed it. The 0ew Jersey plan proposed a !ni(ameral legislat!re where
ea(h state was allowed one vote. The 0ew Jersey plan also attempted to give less pop!lo!s states more
power in ongress to e4!al the powers o/ the large states. 5nder the plan, ongress was able to (olle(t
ta,es /rom states based on the n!mber inhabitants in the states. This meant that larger states wo!ld
have to pay more ta,es than the smaller states. 6!rthermore, the 0ew Jersey plan proposed that the
national law was made the s!preme law o/ the states. The 0ew Jersey Plan, however, was !ltimately
re-e(ted as a basis /or a new (onstit!tion b!t some ideas were still !sed.
Connecticut/Great Compromise
The onne(ti(!t ompromise, also known as the 7reat ompromise, was proposed by Roger
8herman at the onstit!tional onvention on J!ly %9
th
, %&'&. Be(a!se the Virginia Plan /avored the
larger states and the 0ew Jersey Plan /avored the smaller states, the onne(ti(!t ompromise
!ltimately (reated as a so that both large and small states (an (ome to an agreement. The onne(ti(!t
ompromise, on(e again, proposed a bi(ameral legislation and attempted to blend ideas /rom both the
Virginia Plan and the 0ew Jersey Plan into the two ho!ses o/ ongress. 5nder the onne(ti(!t
ompromise, the states wo!ld be represented proportionately in the Ho!se o/ Representatives, as
proposed by the Virginia Plan, and represented e4!ally in the 8enate, as proposed by the 0ew Jersey
Plan. 6!rthermore, in the 8enate, ea(h state was given two seats and all proposed bills that had to do
with reven!es were re4!ired to be originated in the Ho!se.
1ork ited
:The 0ew Jersey, or Paterson, Plan.: West's Encyclopedia of American Law. "d. 8hirelle Phelps and
Je//rey Lehman. #nd ed. Vol. %#. ;etroit+ 7ale, #<<2. %%<=%%%. U.S. History in Context. 1eb. '
8ept. #<%>.
:The Virginia, or Randolph, Plan.: West's Encyclopedia of American Law. "d. 8hirelle Phelps and
Je//rey Lehman. #nd ed. Vol. %#. ;etroit+ 7ale, #<<2. %<&=%<$. U.S. History in Context. 1eb. &
8ept. #<%>.
1hit/ield, Theodore M. :onne(ti(!t ompromise.: Dictionary of American History. "d. 8tanley 3.
?!tler. @rd ed. Vol. #. 0ew Aork+ harles 8(ribnerBs 8ons, #<<@. @2$. Gale Virtal !eference
Li"rary. 1eb. ' 8ept. #<%>.